A few weeks ago, I was having lunch on campus with a couple of friends, and a bizarre thing happened. We were sitting outside, basking in the shade of one of those tables with an umbrella on it, when we watched a series of fascinating events unfold.
One thing about being on a college campus is that there's always something interesting to see. This day was no exception, and we found ourselves people watching while chatting amiably. Nearby, there was a planter with grass and a tree planted in it, and we spied a man and woman there.
We paid them no mind, as there was plenty more going on, and quite frankly, they really weren't all that interesting. Things got a little out of the ordinary after a while, though, and suddenly we found ourselves distracted by the peculiar events unfolding between said man and woman.
Suddenly, the woman was screaming at the man, in what was quite obviously one of those "lover's spat" things. I found myself particularly amused when the woman said the following:
"You never spend any time with me! And the only reason you ever come over is to pick up your fucking iPod!!"
I found this amusing for the following reasons:
1. That's one peculiar thing about which to be yelling.
2. Who leaves their iPod at their girlfriend's place, presumably all the time?
3. Who talks like that?
Anyway, we sort of watched what was going on, paying only a little bit of attention to it. The conversation shifted, as they have a strange tendency to do, and we found ourselves talking about the pleasant couple before us. Were they really that melodramatic? After some discussion, we figured they must be rehearsing for a play or something, because it just felt completely unnatural.
The spat continued for another ten minutes or so, and then the guy took off. Within two minutes, our table was suddenly swarmed by six people, two of whom were (you guessed it!) the happy couple. While recording with a video camera, they posed either the most intriguing or the most rhetorical question ever:
"We noticed you guys staring at us as we were fighting (apparently we were quite obvious). Why didn't you try to intervene?"
Aha, so it turns out we were part of a some social experiment on violence, and were being tested to see if we were very human when it came to violence, or if we left people's business to themselves. We explained our discussion, and then they wound up asking for pointers about it. Made for a fun little chat, I suppose.
They thanked us for our time, then continued on their merry way, off to go try the experiment out on somewhat less savvy people. The moved a ways away from us, but where we could still see them. It seemed our tips were pretty helpful, because two lady cops were wandering the area, and they ended up approaching the pair and looked pretty serious. When they found out what was really going on, they broke into grins of relief, and were also recorded.
So in the end, I'm rather curious what they discovered (I probably will never know). But for me, here's the possibilities of what could have happened:
1. I retain my usual feelings that I don't meddle with anyone unless true physical violence breaks out.
2. I try to interfere where possible.
I'd have to say that, this time around, my non-meddling theory was reinforced because my feelings that it was just an act were proven correct, and thus served to reinforce this idea. Oh well.